Florida College hosted a dedication ceremony led by President Payne to celebrate the completion of the Wilson Hall renovation on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, following the daily chapel assembly.

Wilson Hall was the first new building constructed on Florida College’s campus and was named after the college’s first president, L. R. Wilson, in 1948.

“To many of us, Wilson Hall reminds us of the past,” Payne said.

The outdated building previously hosted classrooms, a men’s dormitory and storage space, but it has been beautifully restored thanks to generous estate gifts from faithful supporters. It will now serve as the home of the office of admissions and retention services and the financial aid office.

Wilson Hall will also host the Center for Academic Excellence. Previously known as the academic advising office, this vital campus function has been named the Willie and Sylvia Jones Center for Academic Excellence to honor Willie and Sylvia Jones of Thomasville, Alabama. Sylvia reached out to the college looking for a way to honor the memory of her beloved husband, Willie, whom she lost in May 2015. Due to the Jones family’s dedication to educating young Christians and preparing them for lives of service, Sylvia chose to donate $150,000 to name this office.

“We are pleased Sylvia chose to honor Willie in a way that will have such an impact on our students,” Payne said. “This vital office serves every student as they make their way to Florida College and embark on their collegiate academic career.”

In addition to the interior renovation, the surviving pieces of sidewalk from the 1947 landscape project completed by Florida College students, faculty, alumni and friends have been set outside Wilson Hall, honoring the volunteer spirit of all those associated with Florida College, past, present and future.